REARING calf shows made a welcome return at Skipton Auction Mart on Monday for the first time since January and bridging the gap to lift the title on resumption were local husband and wife, Andrew and Louise Ayrton, of Bower House Farm, Eastby. (Mon, May 17)

The couple – Louise is responsible for calf rearing and feeding – saw its first prize British Blue-x bull calf tapped out as champion by Hellifield show judge Tom Panter. Born mid-April and by the young Genus test sire, Numero Uno, out of a Hawbank dam, the victor sold for £430.

The third generation tenant farmers, who run a 230-strong Holstein Friesian dairy herd, also consigned the second prize Limousin-x bull calf, by their own stock bull, Oxford. It sold for £420.

Multiple past title winners, the Sowray brothers - Shaun, Peter and Paul - who run their Holstein Friesian dairy herd at Bowes Green Farm, Bishop Thornton, again did well when picking up five tickets in total, chief of which was their first prize and reserve champion Limousin-x bull calf, by a bull acquired two years ago from the Houseman family in nearby Burton Leonard. It fell for £470.

A solid turnout of 66 calves comprised 25 Blue bulls, 20 of them out of Friesians averaging £443. Heading the section at £465 was the third prize winner from the Hartley farming partnership in Beamsley.

Limousin bull and heifer calves were much dearer on the week, with multiple buyers for quality goods. Clitheroe’s D Rawsthorne sold suckler-bred Limousin-x bulls to £580 top call twice, plus another at £540, along with the top price same way bred heifer calf at £520.

The Pickersgill family, from Hawksworth, picked up a brace of red rosettes with both Limousin and black and calves, the latter topping its section at £190. The overall black and white selling average was £109.

Of the natives, Aberdeen-Angus bulls sold well, the Walmsley family, from Harrogate, topping at £395 with their first prize six-week-old bull calf.

The same day’s weekly prime cattle sale attracted 35 head, including 13 under 30-month clean cattle, with liveweight cattle remaining a good trade.

Joint top price per kilo was the 277.5p (£1,568) paid by Robertshaw’s Farm Shop, Thornton, for a 565kg British Blue-x steer from the Smith family, Masongill, matched by a 595kg Limousin-x heifer from the Threshfield-based Kitching brothers, which also headed the gross prices at £1,651 when one of multiple purchases by Ralph Pearson Wholesale Butchers.

The Bradford-based business again claimed an outstanding pen of cattle, which also included both leading gross priced 650kg Blue-x steers from the Kitchings at £1,643 (271.5p/kg) and £1,637 (270.5p/kg).

While a shade easier on the week the 22 cull cows maintained a strong underlying trade, young diet-fed dairies selling to 150.5p/kg and a number of good young beef grazing cows to 171.5p/kg. The overall section selling average was £777.55 per head, or 126.62p/kg.